Friday, November 7, 2008
I'm back to give you the next installment on my amazing African adventure. As you can see by the cool photo on the right, I did learn to use my camera (phew!) and managed to take well over one thousand pictures. Those of you who read the blog regularly, will surely point out that the cheetah is sitting down. Yes, it turns out that I was right about that little part: moving animals are very hard to photograph when you're a beginner. Fortunately for me, cats are lazy. That's one of the things I saw firsthand: a cat is a cat is a cat. It doesn't much matter if it's your housecat or an adult male lion. They're sublimely cool, relaxed, playful, and mostly, lazy. Of course, when you're hanging out beneath a noonday sun that is baking the earth to granite and making you sweat where you stand, laziness seems like a virtue. :)
So, where did I leave off? I believe my last post was about Zim and Zam. After that, we were off by small plane to Botswana. If you look on the map, you'll see that it's just above South Africa. The is where the Kalihari desert is, or most of it, and if you're like me, you've seen a lot of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet shows set in this area. We were not in the desert, thank goodness, as I hear the temps can reach 128 degrees IN THE SHADE. Assuming you can find shade, that is. Anyway, we were in an area called the Okavango Delta. It's a vast network of swamps and rivers and lakes, much of which stays wet even in the heart of the dry season. The cool thing about that is--you guessed it--the animals come from all over to drink the waters of the Okavango. Our first stop was a lovely resort in the Chobe National Forest area, run by a company called Kwando safaris. We had a great room, overlooking the river. We could lie in bed, read a book, and watch baboons and warthogs dashing in front of us. Water buffalo stood crowded along the river, and on a gorgeous sunset cruise, we saw crocodiles, elephants, hippos, and millions of gloriously colored birds.
What I remember most about this part of the trip was that I saw my first real African sunset. (In Zimbabwae, we experienced the sunset from a distance as we were running to catch our ride at the crazy-busy-heartbreaking border). I have tried to put the first sunset pics HERE, but I have no idea how to do it, so I guess they'll show up on top. The first one is the beautiful sunset, and the second shows the boat we were on, sipping wine, taking pics, and watching God's gorgeous light show. It was fantastic. And yes, we did spy a few fireflies. :)
I was also lucky to get news from Pam Shelton (Botswana Book Project) just before I left. In the same week I was down there, she received a shipment of almost seven thousand books, which she set about distributing to local schools. So thanks to all of you who helped me gather and donate books. They made it down and were much appreciated.
Well, we only had one day on the Chobe River, and then it was off to the start of our safari, so I guess this is a good stopping point for today. Now I'm off to speak at the Rose City Writers group in Portland, Oregon. I'll check back in when I return...
Remind me to chat a bit about all of tv shows now that I'm mostly caught up. Remind me, too, to give you all the new scoop on True Colors. There's lots to tell. I see that it's finally up on Amazon and bn.com. So it's beginning...thanks to all of you for the support along the way. The cover looks great and the reviews have been pretty darn good. I guess soon I'll start hearing (and reading online) what readers have to say. That's always interesting. And you all know what that means: contest time. I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently and now the time is right.
So that's on the agenda for next time. Safari and book publishing. What a combo. Send in your questions and I'll try to answer.
Thanks for tuning in.